It’s been insane lately. And brilliant.
I’ve mostly been working on contacting authors for the Steampunk Doncaster festival in June this year. As regulars will know, I’m the festival’s “Man of Words” which mean that I’m organising everything that goes on in the Litarium, a section of the fest devoted to words whether they be written, spoken or performed.
And the interest in attending the event has been brilliant so far. In fact, we already have several authors confirmed. Among the brilliant talent we have attending are L.M. Cooke, author of the Automata Wars novels, Meg Kingston who has written an intriguing premise with Chrystal Heart. Anna Chen, poet of the renowned Opium Wars saga will be performing her work with the aid of a guitarist. As well as all these authors doing signings, talks, and other activities, we’ll also be hosting a discussion by Allegra Hawksmoor of the eminent Steampunk Magazine!
Not only that but we have copies of a true Victorian classic called Hartmann the Anarchist. Written in the 1800s, Hartmann may have been the first book ever to use dirigibles in a science fiction story! There’ll also be fiction competitions for adults and children, and a Limerick jam just for fun where people can turn up and share their humourous or interesting little ditties with us. I can’t wait for that bit.
And it continues to grow. Other areas of the festival have artwork, displays, a HUGE trader’s market and other fun stuff going on.
So that’s what I’ve been up to recently. As well as the usual uni assignments, day job and trying to find time to write. Which brings me to my next announcement. As part of the Steampunk Doncaster event, a new blog has been launched. Starting as a bit of fun, the idea for the blog soon grew and grew until we now have a fully-functioning serialised story being posted on a weekly basis. Following Her Majesty’s Airship Deedworthy, the story will chronicle the adventures of the crew, including interviews with the airmen and women, and lead up to a landing in June in Doncaster just in time for the festival…unless their adventures take them elsewhere.
As you might of guessed, it’s me who’s writing the story, and I have no idea what’s going to happen. I’m not planning ahead, not thinking about a plot, I’ll just see how it turns out each week and hopefully it’ll be a rip-roaring good adventure! The first installment is already up there, so go take a look and let me know what you think
Hope to see you there!
Thanks for reading.
Steam Retro have been making jewellery and other bits and pieces (for both the Gothic and Steampunk markets) for a while now, selling locally in Spain at craft fairs and markets, and starting up their webpage www.gothicsteampunkclothing.com. But they hail from far chillier climes. In fact, right around the corner from me in Yorkshire! Since they’ll be attending the Steampunk Doncaster event in June, I thought it only right that you all get acquainted. So here they are. Steam Retro in their own words:
“Growing up in Yorkshire in the 80s it was difficult not to be a goth! Now we have more fun in the world of Steampunk. As you know, we’re going to Steampunk Doncaster for our first overseas adventure [and to try the beer!]. We’ve been trading on ETSY for 3 months, and after a slow start its now going really well, and we are learning/improving as we go along!”
Since hitting the Steampunk genre running, and becoming a full-on obsessive, it’s been a hobby of mine to find the little pockets of enthusiasts around the UK. These people, after all, will hopefully become my readers when Greaveburn hits the shelves this summer. And ever since I started my search, it has never ceased to amaze me how incredibly creative people can be.
The beauty of Steampunk, in my opinion, is how it encourages people to create, build, imagine and fashion all manner of doodads and thingumies. Etsy is, of course, the best way to find out about the hundreds of talented folk who make trinkets, gadgets, costumes and things-with-no-name. With these folks in mind, I think it’s only fair that I share the wealth of what I’ve found with you. Starting with The Dark Power.com.
Now here’s someone who takes their creating seriously! Not only does Dark Power make the most impressive creations, but they have even won awards for their Steampunk short film Beast of the Air! Take a look:
Good, eh? I wouldn’t mind one of those guns for when I go shopping in ASDA. Can’t wait to see them tackle the book trailer for Greaveburn! (Hint hint, Dark Power, if you’re reading this :D)
Have a look HERE for more of their gadgets and gizmos .
Moving on to another tinker-type, I’d like to draw your attention to The Little Steampunk Shop. Chock full of things that you can actually BUY, alll handmade and utterly cool-looking. If you need some Whatsits for your next Steam-theme endeavour, this is where to get them! Here’s just a couple of things that caught my eye:
There’s all manner of jewelry, modded USB sticks, clockwork insects and mice, lamps…By Jiggins, I’m salivating! With payday on the horizon, and my Steampunk outfit nearly ready, I think I’ll be visiting The Little Steampunk Shop again very, very soon.
It seems that while our American comrades love their Steampunk, there’s much love in our own fair country for some Neo-Victorian shinanigans, too. I can’t wait to meet some of them at the Weekend at the Asylum Steampunk Convention in September. It’s going to be an absolute riot!
Thanks for reading.
My trip to Budapest, although only a few days, was the most surreal experience of my life. As some of you may know from my going-away post, I did absolutely no research about the city before going there. It was a literal out-of-the-hat type holiday. I didn’t know what places of interest to visit, what historical sites were there or any of the history of the country. I especially didn’t know the language. But when I got there, I realised that I DID know the city. In fact, for the last three years, I’ve been visiting Budapest in my head without even knowing it. Because, as I walked the streets, I realised that parts of Budapest were exactly how Greaveburn to look! I don’t just mean in a similar-kind-of-way. I mean in a This-is-what-was-in-my-head kind of way.
Here’s a gallery to show you what I mean, the captions, of course, are which Greaveburn buildings I relate to the real ones:
That’s only four pics, but I’m afraid they’re quite high res and I can’t fit any more on. Maybe I’ll do another gallery on a separate page later on.
Anyway, you get the idea. And with the edits for Greaveburn coming back from Inspired Quill for the second time, everything’s starting to feel just a little too real. We’re getting closer and closer, folks. The time will soon be upon us. I may sound calm right now, but expect some serious panic-posts very very soon
Anyway, now that I feel I’ve visited some of the places in my head, and that I may well be living in the Matrix, I’d like to suggest Budapest for your next trip. If you like to relax, but in a city environment, I can’t think of anywhere else I could suggest. It’s peaceful, despite being a big city. No one rushes around. The food is great. The exchange rate right now is pretty damn good. Just avoid the Austrian beer. NOT good. The local brew, Dreher, however, is great.
While we were there, we poked around just about anywhere we could. Especially in search of a good bar. But our strangest discovery was a little place called Verne’s, named after the incredible Jules Verne. And outside Verne’s, I found something that made me feel completely at home; a piece of Steampunk awesomeness:
Great isn’t it? I dropped a Greaveburn business card into it for some unsuspecting Hungarian to find. Who knows? I might get a following over there! (I’m not holding my breath hahaha).
As always, I’d like to apologise for how long it’s been since I’ve posted. I know I’ve been slacking off. But, as you will soon see, it’s all for a good reason. The next time I post, I hope, it’ll be to show you my Steampunk costume for the upcoming Weekend at the Asylum Steampunk convention. I intend to look utterly ridiculous, and I can’t wait! Keep your eyes on this spot!
Thanks for reading.
This is it. No more looking over my shoulder. No takesies-backsies. I’m moving on.
Greaveburn has had its final edit. I’ve added more chapters where the plot was slack, and managed to bulk out the characters a little in the process. It’s clean, punchy and (I bloody hope) error free. And I’m not doing any more. It’s taken almost four years to get to this point (with one year out for personal catastrophes and including loads of short stories slowing my progress). I’m really, truly, happy with it. I love my characters and I hope they love me back (except Professor Loosestrife, he can gladly stay at home). But it’s time to move one.
Greaveburn has been sent out to quite a few agents already with some very polite and encouraging rejection slips to show for it. Angry Robot Publishing is currently reading he first five chapters and will hopefully decide it’s worth reading the rest even if they don’t take it on. But while it isn’t in print yet and I’m going to be trying to rectify that for the foreseeable future, Greaveburn is being put to bed. Night night, sleep tight.
The question is…what comes next? Well, I’ll be focussing on The Alan Shaw Chronicles from now on. For those of you who haven’t been bored to death with me talking about it, TASC is a Steampunk Epic chronicling the life of the eponymous character as he grows up on the streets of Victorian London. It’s styled as a series of snapshots; each story an episode in his life, and each one a new adventure. Sometimes swashbuckling, sometimes dark, I’m aiming to give a solid overview of a life’s ups and downs and the trails our main character goes through.
I already have 25k down on this one and it’s growing fast, but I’m only on the third story so it’s going to be a long one! I’ll try to keep you all up to date with the novel’s progress via the W.I.P page, but I won’t be giving away any more plot details/adventure titles so as not to spoil it
So, a new era begins and a load of new adventures for new characters. I’m really excited about this project. It’ll be my first forray into Steampunk properly, too. Automatons and trains. Gears and goggles. Corsets and cranks. Woohoo! I was getting stagnant staring at Greaveburn all the time and this new project feels like I’ve been cut loose. Like being lashed to your grandma’s corpse as you sink in a river; You love her, but you know if you can slip free, you’ll float to safety.
And after that horrific image (for which I apologise), I’ll end how I always do.
Thanks for reading.
Welcome to the new, improved, and working version of Pseudo-writer!
Hopefully, you’ll remember the old version on Blogger and be revelling in the juicy shiny-ness of the new blog. If you’re new: Hello! Come on in! Take a seat, it’s all-new IKEA furniture and an abundance of soft furnishings.
For those of you who dont know, and haven’t clicked the ‘about’ tab yet, I’m Craig. Nice to meet you. Full-time Nurse and aspiring writer. I’ve just finished two years of Creative Writing with the Open University, and I’ll be working another three toward a degree in English Literature (I already have one in Nursing, obviously). I write dark speculative fiction, mostly. All of the short stories I’ve had published have been horror-based, which makes me feel like I should be slightly worried about my state of mind. You can find those wonderful magazines on the ‘Publicationment’ page above.
There are some short stories for you to check out on the ‘Here Be Stories’ page, too. And my Works-In-Progress are up there along with the two books I’ve finished. Just have a dig around, see what you can find, and let me know what you think!
Old friends and new…
Thanks for reading.
>Just finished the second story in the Alan Shaw Adventures. And I’m aware I don’t bash on about my WIPs enough so here I am, bashing away.
The premise is a collection of short stories that chronicle the life of the eponymous hero. He starts out as a street urchin in Victorian London and we see the dawning of the Steampunk Era with the birth of the Automatons. As we watch Alan grow up and travel the world in his adventures, we also get to witness the progression of the Steampunk age.
Each story will have a B-Movie/Adventure novel style title with Alan Shaw and the Fate of the Automatons and Alan Shaw and the Clockwork Tentacle already finished. There are Brass Monkeys, the Case of the Jade Vase (Subject to change) and the Wolves of London still to come among others.
So that’s the idea.
Hope it sounds good. I’m trying for a completely different style to my last novel which was very dark and gothic. Alan Shaw is shaping up as more of a swashbuckling fantastical adventure.
Anyway, thought you guys should know what I’m up to.
Thanks for reading.